Tag: Drama

Review: Shooting Stars

Posted November 15, 2022 by Rowena in Features | 0 Comments

Shooting Stars

Starring: Lee Sung Kyung, Kim Young Dae, Yoon Jong Hoon, Kim Yoon Hye, Park So Jin, Lee Jung Shin
Year Released: 2022
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Country: South Korea
Director: Lee Soo Hyun
Screenwriter: Choi Young Woo, Choi Yeon Seo

A behind-the-scenes look at the entertainment industry’s PR teams, managers, and reporters as they scramble to clean up the messes created by their stars.

Oh Han Byul leads an entertainment agency’s PR team. One of her top clients is the star Gong Tae Sung, who can do no wrong. They were in high school and college together, where he became her sworn enemy. They bicker constantly but soon develop feelings for one another.

It’s been a while since I’ve watched Lee Sung Kyung in anything and I don’t remember ever seeing Kim Young Dae in anything so when this came across my radar while browsing Viki, I pressed play on episode 1. I’m glad that I did because this was a delightfully tropey romance that I enjoyed a lot. We got to take a peek into the hustle and bustle of the Korean entertainment business both in front and behind the camera.

I may have not known who Kim Young Dae was before this drama but I know who he is now and I will definitely be supporting his dramas from now on. Lee Sung Kyung is still my girl and I adored her in this one too.

The Story

So this drama follows two characters who have known each other for the longest time. They went to college together and basically, they’re each others “the one that got away”. When the drama starts, they can’t stand each other but they work together and it is Oh Han Byul’s job as a PR assistant to make sure that Gong Tae Sung’s public image doesn’t suffer and while he’s the apple of everyone’s eyes, he’s the bane of Han Byul’s existence. It is evident from the jump that these two have history and I was super intrigued about what the history was. They’re shared hatred of each other started somewhere and seeing the story unfold was great entertainment.

There are other side stories that were interesting as well. Tae Sung’s stalker story, the secondary romance, and I enjoyed all of them. This is one of the few romances where I was much more wrapped up in the main romance than I was in anything else so as a romance lover, that made me happy. I will say that while this was an enjoyable romance, one thing that stood out to me (and not in a good way) was the way that they portrayed Sung Tae as some African hero because he helped get them some water. In this big year of 2022? I wasn’t a fan of that. Also, the big reveal of the people that had big hate boners for Tae Sung was a bit of a let down because I didn’t get what drove them since I didn’t understand how they put all of that shit at his door. I thought their reasonings were silly.

Main Male Lead

When we first meet our main male lead, Gong Tae Sung, he comes off as bratty and arrogant but he didn’t fool me. I knew that he wasn’t as bad as he made himself out to be. He’s also fine as hell so that didn’t hurt. He’s a celebrity that is used to being loved so when his PR accidently embarrasses him, he’s got a bone to pick with her. And he picks that bone every single chance he gets. Tae Sung’s character development was hard to get through at times because there were plenty of times in the beginning where I wanted to kick him in the dick but that was mostly because I wasn’t buying his bratty arrogant role so as soon as he drops that and becomes just a regular regular guy, I enjoyed his character much more. So much so that when the show finally comes to an end, I adored him.

Main Female Lead

Han Byul was probably my favorite part of the show. She was hard working and caring and I loved seeing her pick herself up time after time again and try harder. She was great at dusting herself off and getting shit done. No matter what she was going through, what she was feeling, she showed up and she worked her little ass off. No matter what Tae Sung did, how he made her feel, she stood her ground and just kept going. My heart went out to her numerous times over the course of the show and every single episode, no matter how silly I thought she acted or how childish she was, I rooted for her. I liked her. And that didn’t change in the end. In the end, I was so hot damn happy that she finally got her shot at happiness that I cheered out loud. Loved this girl.

The Cast

There’s a whole bunch of side stories, side romances included and I enjoyed them all. There were some stories that I enjoyed more than others but I didn’t feel like any of them weren’t needed. They were like little side treats for us to enjoy while we waited for more Han Byul and Tae Sung. I enjoyed the two actors romance, Han Byul’s friends romances, and I also enjoyed getting to know all of the characters. Tae Sung’s manager and assistant were great. Han Byul’s friends and her coworkers were awesome. I even enjoyed Moon Ga Young’s guest star role. It was great to see her in something else, even if it was a really small part.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this was a drama that dealt with heavy issues of being in the public spotlight and even though there were plenty of heavy issues, the drama itself isn’t dark and bogged down by those things. I thought both Lee Sung Kyung and Kim Young Dae did a great job bringing their characters to life. I was delightfully surprised at how much I ended up liking this one after giving it a shot. It wasn’t hard to get into the story and everyone did a great job of making you want to continue the series so if you’re looking for something cute, fun, and doesn’t take itself too seriously, go ahead and give this a shot.

Final Rating

via GIPHY

3.5 out of 5

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Review: Again My Life

Posted November 8, 2022 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Again My Life

Starring: Lee Joon Gi, Lee Kyung Young, Kim Ji Eun, Jung Sang Hoon, Choi Kwang Il, Hong Bi Ra
Year Released: 2022
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Law, Mystery
Country: South Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Recommended By: N/A
Who I Watched It For: Kim Ji Eun

Kim Hee Woo came from an inauspicious start as a low-grade high schooler to work his way up through university and finally pass the bar examination. His relentless hard work has finally paid dividends, and he has become a public prosecutor. During the course of his investigations, he must conduct a probe into a politician suspected of corruption. But his investigation is abruptly ended when a mysterious man kills him.

However, he later comes to, finding that he is actually alive. Restored to the mortal realm, he finds that he must return to university and complete his academic journey again – while he tries to discover the truth about what happened to him. On his journey, he encounters Kim Hee Ah, an exceptionally intelligent young woman who also happens to be the youngest daughter of the family that owns the wealthy Cheonha business group. As Kim Hee Woo and Kim Hee Ah intensify their search for answers, they discover that a shady cabal of rich power brokers may have played a part in his “death.”

I really enjoyed Kim Ji Eun in The Veil so when I went looking at other shows she was in, this one came up. I watched this entire show after all the episodes aired so I binged it over a weekend but every episode was interesting and I was rooting for Kim Hee Woo to get it right this time around and even though the romance was super small, I enjoyed Kim Ji Eun’s character in this show as well.

Our main character is offered a second chance at life if he promises to use that life preparing to take down the bad guys that he was fighting against in this life. He’ll return with his full memory in tact but he’s got a figure out how to get it right this time around. Interesting plot, right? I thought so and I’m glad that I gave this one a go because I enjoyed it.

Main Lead

This drama centered around our main lead, Kim Hee Woo, who was played by Lee Joon Gi. I haven’t watched very many shows with Joon Gi at the lead so this was my first one. I greatly enjoyed seeing him in action. I thought he did a great job leading this drama from beginning to end. His character was well rounded. He had me laughing, gasping in shock, and crying as well. I felt all of the feels watching this and I have zero complaints with Joon Gi’s delivery, with the way that he wove his character’s story and the way that he was dogged in his determination to bring the bad guys down. Gotta respect that and I did.

Second Lead

The second lead was the bad guy. I’ve seen him in several other dramas before and I can’t remember if he’s ever played a good guy. I will say that he plays the role of villain really well. I hated him in every single drama that I watched him in and this drama was no different. It was low-key scary how many people he had in his back pocket. The power he held in this drama was creepy at the same time that it was scary. It was satisfying to see him watch his dynasty crumble bit by bit because of Hee Woo’s drive to blow his shit up. There was no stone left unturned and I rather enjoyed watching Cho Tae Seob suffer with each passing episode.

Lee Kyung Young’s portrayal of Cho Tae Seob was a good one. He did his job well cause I hated his ass from the jump. I was actually surprised that he spread himself so thin on account of holding on to all of that power that he had. From the top to the bottom, there was someone from every walk of life working for him. And he was a real jerk, too. So they weren’t following him because they respected and wanted to help him, they were scared to do anything else. I was glad to see this guy fall from grace and I thought it was interesting, the way that Hee Woo did it too.

The Cast

Most of the cast was familiar to me from other dramas and I liked each and every single person. Everyone did their jobs well and I don’t have a gripe with anyone really. I really liked the team that Hee Woo put together and I liked everyone that came together to bring the big bad down. It was a lot of fun getting to know everyone and seeing how their small or big parts came together to paint a pretty awesome drama picture. I was happy with everyone.

The Story

The story was a fast-paced story that kept you interested with each episode. There are a lot of thrilling moments and scenes that had me wondering where it was all going. The story itself was solid and the cast did their thing in bringing that story to life. There weren’t too many gaps in the storytelling that I could remember and though there were some episodes that dragged a smidge for me, for the most part, I enjoyed it. The only thing that I would have wished for is for the romance to have played a bigger role in the overall story. Still, some romance is better than no romance, right? I just felt that the romance was barely there and then BAM, they’re engaged and then even bigger BAM, they’re living happily ever after…like what?

Overall, this was a fast-paced, action thriller of a drama that had me gripped in each episode. While it wasn’t the most perfect of dramas, it came pretty close and if you’re in the mood for a mystery, some fantasy, and a great cast of characters, pick this one up. It’s a good one, I promise.

Final Rating

via GIPHY

4 out of 5

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Eye Candy Friday: Park Tae Joon from Love All Play

Posted October 28, 2022 by Rowena in Features | 0 Comments

Eye Candy Friday is something that I’ve been doing since I first started my personal blog way back in 2003. That first personal blog is long gone but I’ve never really grown out of the eye candy phase. I’m always up for some eye candy. Whether it’s a character from a book (male or female, I don’t discriminate), a character from a movie or TV Show, if I loved them and want to gush about how much I loved them, you’ll find them here. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

This week, I’m featuring Park Tae Joon from Love All Play. I adored his character and thought he was such a great first lead. I’m really looking forward to more of his stuff to support.

I’ll be reviewing this drama soon so be on the look out for that. This one is a good one to binge too.

Watch Love All Play

Love All Play

Starring: Chae Jong Hyeop, Park Joo Hyun, Park Ji Hyun
Year Released: 2022
Genre: Drama, Sports, Romance

A sports romance drama that depicts the passion and affection for badminton of a male and female protagonist who is a mixed doubles group with players from the badminton business team.

Park Tae Joon, who naturally wound up in the world of badminton because of his parents’ badminton equipment business. Although he had begun to see the sport as work, his passion for badminton is reignited due to a desire to impress a woman.

Park Tae Yang is a former aspiring Olympian who had to leave the badminton world for three years due to a bribing scandal.

Until next week…enjoy!

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Review: Our Blues

Posted October 27, 2022 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Our Blues

Starring: Lee Byung Hun, Shin Min Ah, Cha Seung Won, Lee Jung Eun, Uhm Jung Hwa, Han Ji Min, Kim Woo Bin, Kim Hye Ja, Go Doo Shim
Year Released: 2022
Number of Episodes: 20
Genre: Life, Drama, Melodrama, Romance
Country: South Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Park Jimin
Who I Watched It For: Park Jimin

“Our Blues” takes on an omnibus-style drama, which tells the story of diverse characters that are somewhat interconnected, in one way or the other.

Lee Dong Suk, a guy born on the beautiful island of Jeju, sells goods from the mainland in his truck for a living. He meets Min Sun Ah, a girl with a mysterious past, who has come to Jeju to escape that life.

Park Jung Joon, a ship captain, falls in love with Lee Young Ok, a diver with a bright and bubbly personality.

Jung Eun Hee, a fish shop owner, reunites with her past lover Choi Han Soo. They cross paths in Jeju Island when he returns back, after realizing that city life is not for him.

I went into this drama because of Park Jimin. Jimin was singing one of the songs on the OST so to support my fellow Bulletproof Boyscout, I put this drama on my to watch list. I won’t lie. This show started off really slow. The first couple of stories dragged for me and I wasn’t sure that I’d continue because I had to hype myself up to watch the new episodes in the beginning but boy am I glad that I kept with it. With each passing week, I cried a little more and then when Jimin’s song with Ha Sung Woon finally makes its debut? I cried EVEN MORE. The song matched the couple’s story so well that I came to love the song even more as well.

There’s a lot of characters to follow in this show but I loved each and every story, every character, and just the entire town. Lee Young Ok’s character was hard to root for. She was so mysterious, so frustratingly hard to get to know that it turned me off but as her story starts to come to light more and more, I hated her less and less. While I didn’t completely understand the reasons she did the things that she did to and for her sister, in the end, I was glad that she found a home and I was glad that she could stop running from her life.

Each character in this show had a story to tell and we saw them all. Big stories, little stories, stories told through other stories, the way that the writers meshed them all together was pretty great. I can’t tell you which story was my favorite because it’s a tie between the pregnancy story and the granddaughter coming to stay with the grandmother. I cried the most in those two stories but each story was pretty great in their own right. All of the actors did a fantastic job of bringing their characters to life and I loved that each character shined in their own way and added to the village that I came to know and love in the end.

There’s a lot to love with this drama. Lots of great acting, a fantastic OST, and a lot of pretty eye candy to look at as well. The pacing is on the slower side but I thought it worked well with the kind of drama that this was. Everything comes at you but the overall feel of the drama is slow, steady, and oh so good. I really enjoyed this one and I think y’all will too.

Final Rating

4.5 out of 5

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Review: My Liberation Notes

Posted October 13, 2022 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

My Liberation Notes

Starring: Kim Ji Won, Lee Min Ki, Son Seok Koo, Lee El
Year Released: 2022
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Drama, Life, Melodrama, Romance
Country: South Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: N/A
Who I Watched It For: Kim Ji Won

Set in Sanpo Village where more people leave than remain, the three Yeom siblings, Chang Hee, Mi Jung, and Ki Jung, wish to escape from a life rife with uncertainty.

A mysterious man, Mr. Goo, moves into their neighborhood. He is a drunkard with the look of someone with many burdens and secrets. His cautious personality and preference for keeping to himself make him the subject of gossip. Mi Jung, the youngest and most timid Yeom sibling, decides to approach him.

I’m not sure why I wanted to watch this show, other than I’m a big fan of Kim Ji Won, but I’m so so glad that I did. The show moved at such a slow pace and while normally, I would have lost interest in the show, that wasn’t the case with this show at all. This story benefitted from the slow pacing. There were times when it moved a smidge too slow for my liking but after all was said and done, I could see why it was done that way. The show follows three siblings as they live their lives. They’re all unhappy and trying their best to stay afloat and you could see them all splintering bit by bit.

The oldest sister is unhappy with her dating life, with her home life, and she’s chasing happiness with every fiber of her being. She keeps striking out and the chinks in her armor are cracking but she keeps getting up every day, ready to tackle the next bullshit that comes her way. There were quite a few times when I wanted to smack some sense into her but the more you get to know her, the more that you feel for her because no matter how bad things got for her, she just kept getting back up to face things head on and I admired her for that. I enjoyed her storyline and thought her romance was the right kind of slow burn kind. It worked for me. I loved seeing her really come into her own and made me realize that you’re never too old learn and grow.

The brother was going through his own shit and seeing him trying to find his own happiness and watching him come to the realizations that he did over the course of this show was interesting. I really enjoyed his character and though there were times I wanted to strangle his ass too, I never hated him. I was rooting for him from beginning to end and seeing him struggle to live the kind of life he wanted, with his parents blessings and seeing him with his friends endeared him to me. I was definitely satisfied with the way that his story wrapped up.

The younger sister, that was my dawg. My spirit sister. I connected with her character the most and I rooted for her the loudest. She was struggling through her own issues, her own choices, and on the outside, she looked fine but on the inside, my girl was a hot mess. She was a giant ball of emotions and she got up every day and did her part in helping her family while trying to figure out her life. The romance that blossomed between her and the guy that worked for her dad was different from what I’m used to but it was seriously compelling. I loved that she was able to find peace and that she was able to give him some peace in return. Seeing him drink himself to death was hard but it made me very curious to know his story. To know why he was so hellbent on destroying himself.

Overall, this drama packed a serious punch. The slow storytelling worked at making me come to love each and every single character. It wasn’t easy to watch it, that’s for sure, but sticking with it totally paid off because I wanted each of these characters to find the peace they so desperately wanted and needed. There were times when I had to step away from the show but I knew that I would always come back and the peace I felt when it all wrapped up let me know that I really enjoyed this show. I definitely recommend this one if you’re looking for a solid story about family, about life, and about finding your peace.

Final Rating

via GIPHY

4.5 out of 5

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